Chris Tasama’s Perfect Panda

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Chris Tasama’s Perfect Panda

Halo cars are exceptional vehicles that act as the ultimate demonstration of an automaker’s engineering capability and  imagination. When we think of a flagship, the Porsche 911, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and the Land Rover Range Rover comes to mind– products that truly represent a brand’s identity as well as the greatest the brand has to offer.

In 1983, Toyota decided to turn the philosophy on its head when it first introduced the iconic AE86. Simply called the Hachi-Roku (eight-six), the lightweight front-engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe built a reputation for its perfectly-sorted chassis and its telepathic handling.

The Toyota AE86 was a force to be reckoned with in the Group A and Group N showroom stock racing series. At the time, privateer teams took the rally and circuit courses by storm. Taking full advantage of the lightweight (approximately 2,300 lbs.) yet robust platform, racing drivers flung their Hachi-Roku around corners in reckless abandon and slammed into curbs so hard that the tightly sprung racing cars will lift off on two wheels before settling for the next corner.

Of course, the most legendary AE86 of all is Keiichi Tsuchiya’s “Panda Trueno.” If the name and the car means nothing to you, then you have obviously been living under a rock.

Nostalgia Imports is expecting to bring back a number of Hachi-Rokus lately and for good reason — the tuning culture for the AE86 is so vast that it virtually guarantees that no  two Hachi-Rokus are exactly the same.

Last week, our customer Chris Tasama finally received his Panda Trueno.

Arguably, Tasama’s 1987 example is the most widely desirable Trueno of all, appointed with a combination of period-correct modifications as well as modern suspension components and carbon fiber trim.

Here is the mod list for Tasama’s Hachi-Roku:

J-Blood Carbon Hood
J-Blood Front FRP Fenders
J-Blood FRP Rear Spoiler (optional acrylic window included)
J-Blood Front Bumper
Work Equip 14X7J Wheels
A/M Rear Arch Extensions

AE92 Block / High Comp Piston
HKS Hi-Power Silent Exhaust
HKS Air Cleaner
KMS Ex-Manifold
TRD 0.8mm Head Gasket
TRD Coil Wires

TRD Front / Rear Shock Absorbers (Adjustable)
KMS Front Coilover Kit
Cusco Front Roll Center Adjusters
Cusco Front / Rear Sway Bars
Cusco Front / Rear Tower Bars
A/M Front Pillow Ball Tension Rods
A/M Rear Lateral Bar
A/M Rear Control Arms
Nagisa Auto Shock Tower Plates

Apex’I SAFC Controller
Personal 350mm Steering Wheel
Razo Pedal Covers
Razo Shift Handle
A/M Horn

Stay tuned for more as a black AE86 makes its way to New York as we speak!

By |September 5th, 2013|Categories: Featured Cars|0 Comments

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